Bleak House Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the only thing the Jarndyce suit hasn't ruined, according to Gridley?

2. Richard expects that ___________.

3. Mr. George has visited Grandfather Smallweed regarding ___________.

4. Mr. Smallweed is seeking a sample of ___________.

5. Phil Squod has had ___________.

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Volumnia Dedlock? Discuss her role and her physical appearance.

2. Discuss Krook's Rag and Bottle Shop? Is he a good businessman? Is there anything symbolic about the shop?

3. How could Esther feel responsible for Mr. Boythorn's sadness? In addition, what does this imply about Esther?

4. Poor Guster, the Snagsbys' maid, is given to seizures. Why does Guster fit in so well with the Snagsbys?

5. Dickens brings poverty and wealth together to create intrigue in the story's plot. What is young Jo's involvement in the plot and why is he important?

6. Discuss Mr. Gridley's role in the story, Bleak House. What is his relationship to Miss Flite?

7. What is Mrs. Snagsby's problem? What is comical about her behavior at the "improvement" of Jo?

8. What is the reader's impression of detective Bucket? How does Dickens accomplish his portrayal of Bucket?

9. What is interesting about Smallweed demanding money for the letters he once had in his possession?

10. Discuss Krook's strange death. What is spontaneous combustion?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The gap between the rich and poor seems extremely wide in Bleak House. Write an essay, using the story and its characters, that compares and contrasts the poorest with the wealthiest. Also, try to determine where Dickens' sympathy lay when he wrote Bleak House.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about the use of flowers in Bleak House. Dickens employs flowers several times in very specific, symbolic ways. Examine the symbolism and determine if there is a common thread in the instances where flowers appear.

Essay Topic 3

Find two pieces of literary criticism on Bleak House that do not agree with one another. Write an essay that provides your own opinion of the criticisms, whether you agree or disagree with them, and why.

(see the answer keys)

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